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Dilemmas of Rights-Based Approaches to Child Well-Being in an African Cultural Context

  • A. Bame Nsamenang
Chapter

Abstract

Childhood varies across time and cultural space. Yet, current policy instruments and programming guides are not only Eurocentric acts of imperious “imprint” but also acts of “erasure”; they homogenize assimilation and circumvention of African childhoods. Given that all cultures define and assign diverse developmental tasks to the same biological processes (Day care in context: Socio-cultural perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1992a; Human development in cultural context: A third world perspective. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992b), dilemmas are inherent in proselytizing a Western-driven global image of child well-being. This chapter focuses on the dilemmas and conflicts inherent therein as well as those embedded in and incidental to constructing childhood knowledge that is exclusive of other knowledges (Paper presented to the early childhood care and education policy seminar on “A Decade of Reflection from the Introduction of the Childcare Regulations 1996 Through to Today.” Dublin, Ireland, 2006) and that silences African narratives. Should child well-being research interrogate or inform policy development and programming? How do we interpret the CRC and mount rights-based programming in and for Africa on Eurocentric developmental indicators in the face of provision for children’s rights to a cultural heritage, which in much of Africa includes child work, as against child labor that should be proscribed and punished? Who is best placed to judge the receptivity and efficacy of such services? How would we react if we juxtaposed equity and rights-based considerations against the charge that the CRC was developed far from the lived experiences of most children (From innocents to agents: Children and children’s rights in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Maxim Institute, 2006)?

Keywords

Child Labor African Child Child Work Developmental Science African Family 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Cooperation DivisionUniversity of Bamenda (UBa)BamendaCameroon
  2. 2.Human Development Resource Centre (HDRC)BamendaCameroon

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